Storm Marvel S Ball Review
By Tina Marie Caouette
Before I get into the heart of my review please take a moment to look over my Drill Sheet as well as the picture of the layout. I use these sheets for my records. If you have any questions please feel free to post them below and I will try to answer them as soon as I can. Also, keep in mind that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Please consult a qualified Pro Shop or Coach to help customize a layout for your game. Initial test was done on a typical house shot, however I did throw a few on a longer modified house shot as well and will additionally add my thoughts.
My personal specs:
PAP: 4 ¾” over 1/8” up.
Speed: 18-19 MPH
Rev Rate: 325-350 (Tweener)
Dual Angle Drilling: 45 x 4 1/2 x 35
The Marvel S is one of Storm’s newest Master Line balls but borrows the cover stock (NRG) from the Premier line. If you are not familiar with this Nanotechnology cover stock it is unsurpassed when dealing with heavy oil. The texture of the NRG has been scientifically proven to have a rougher surface due to its expanded peaks and deeper valleys. Having throw a number of balls with the NRG cover stock I can say if you are looking for an aggressive shell that will dig into the heavier volumes of oil this is it!
The Marvel S comes out of the box with a textured 3000-grit Abralon finish which for most will be more than enough to create expanded area on the lanes. However, I will say what I really like about the NRG cover stock is the versatility it allows for multiple conditions. For someone such as myself with a higher ball speed I can drop the surface with no trouble to 500 Abralon for a bit more up front on longer patterns or raise the surface using Xtra-Shine thus giving me extra length on shorter or lighter volume patterns.
The cover stock is just half of what makes this ball an A+ in my book. The second part of the equation is the Centripetal Core weight block and the Modified Centripetal Core light weight block. Having a great paint job is nice but, the true test of any performance car is what’s under the hood and this ball packs some serious ponies. If the core sounds familiar that’s because it was used in the IQ line. One of my favorite tournament balls is the IQ Tour because it has a continuously driving engine the revs up early and maintains this motion all the way through the pins. So take this core and wrap it with the NRG cover stock and you have a ball that will creates up to 6” of commanding flare. This blend of technology will give all bowling styles the opportunity to tear up even the heaviest of oil.
Now let us get into the technical layout of my ball. I have to say I’m lucky enough to have some great acquaintances here in Vegas, one such individual, Storm’s Southern Regional Sales Manager, Jim Callahan. Jim took time out of his extreme schedule and helped me layout out this ball. Thank you Mr. Callahan for your input and knowledge in regards to this layout and ball. Also, thank you Michael Tucker over at South Point for making the time on such short notice to drill out this ball.
I was hoping for a shorter pin around 2” but all the balls in the shop had 3.5 inches pins or longer. The drill angles for this ball came out to 45 x 4 1/2 x 35 and put the pin above my ring finger. Most of my equipment is drilled pin down, but Jim felt with the aggressive nature of this ball he didn’t want it to hemorrhage its power too early. The side weight came in at 1/4 inch and finger weight at 3/8 of an inch. We added a weight hole which is hard to see in the picture but is off to the left. The hole ended up being right on my PAP which is 4 3/4 inches over and 1/8 of an inch up with a 1” drill bit at a 2” depth with no pitches. I can say with this layout I’m effortlessly getting 5” of flare.
I experimented with this ball on a Typical House Shot (THS) at first keeping the factory finish 3000-grit Abralon. I didn’t drill this ball for house shots, but instead for the heavier and longer patterns you tend to hit in the higher end tournaments. I wasn’t expecting this would be controllable on the THS even with my ball speed. I will say the motion was very smooth, but the hook was coast to coast even for a lefty. I hit fourth arrow out to the fourth board at 19 MPH and the ball still had way too much drive through the pins. Maybe with a touch of Xtra-Shine it would be playable but Storm has other balls I use for this type of pattern. I can see someone with not much hand will all of a sudden be able to throw a bigger hook and open the lane up. Those with softer ball speeds will have to watch how they layout this ball for a THS so it doesn’t burn out early.
In all honesty I haven’t had a chance to try this on a really long or heavier volume pattern as of this article. I did try this on a sport pattern of 42’ which is labeled as a medium volume in my Kegel league. The first thing I noticed was the length compared to my pin down balls. It was a different look, but once I got used to it wasn’t bad. The end of the pattern was extremely pronounced as the ball found friction. I noticed as I got deeper the ball responded a great deal stronger showing me that this ball loves oil. If the ball hit out to early into the dry it burned quickly and finished flat. Again, this was too light and too short of a volume for this shell. I did try going down in surface adjustments as well as altering the hand positions but this ball was just too strong for this pattern. I didn’t have any Xtra-Shine on me at the time so the option of going up in surface wasn’t there. I will have to add an amendment to this article once I have a opportunity to actually try this on a heavier volume pattern.
So in conclusion, this was a ball I drilled with an explicit purpose…to conquer those longer and heavier patterns such as the Badger. Now those looking for a greater hook on a THS and want to go coast to coast well this ball will do that with easy. You might have to put Xtra-Shine on it to get it through the heads later in the set as this ball is just a beast in oil. I will say I plan on drilling another one up with a pin down layout and compare the two. Bottom line, for a Master line ball this takes the cake for oil and should be a must have in any tournament bowlers bag.
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